Saturday, November 01, 2014

More, Rick.Scott.Pam.Bondi.Fail … by gimleteye

Cerabino: “Our” Bondi mostly helping special interest “thems”
Posted: 6:00 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
By Frank Cerabino - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

In case you haven’t heard, Pam Bondi is “our attorney general.”

You may have seen the TV campaign advertisement, the one that ends with the reassuring narrator reminding the viewer that Bondi is ours to treasure.

I might buy this “our attorney general” label if she spent a little less time working for the “thems.”

The Fertilizer Institute, for example. If Bondi is so laser-focused on working for us, why was she jumping to the assistance of the Fertilizer Institute’s quest to defeat clean-water standards in the Chesapeake Bay?

The Chesapeake Bay, by the way, is not our bay. And if you live in one of the six Mid-Atlantic states that rely on it being a clean-water ecosystem, states that all agreed to the new clean-water standards, you’d have the right to be miffed that an attorney general from hundreds of miles away was fighting for the polluters of your bay.

That’s our Pam.

Or take the citizens of Connecticut, who passed a ban on semi-automatic weapons after the school massacre at Sandy Hook. That sounds like their business. But not to Bondi, who joined a lawsuit trying to stop the people of Connecticut from protecting themselves from further mass shootings.

That’s our Pam, too.

No distant state is safe from the legal intervention of our Pam, whether it’s support for Arizona’s unconstitutional immigration law, the controversial Keystone pipeline through the Plains states, or Boeing’s side in a labor dispute in South Carolina.

If there’s a big corporate interest to serve or a career-boosting political ideology to flaunt, Pam’s all yours.

Our attorney general is especially a friend of the Washington-D.C.-based Dickstein Shapiro lobbying firm.

Dickstein Shapiro partners and clients have given $20,250 to political committees associated with Bondi or the Republican Party of Florida, according to a story in The New York Times.

The Dickstein Shapiro firm also contributed money to the Republican Attorney Generals Association, which then used that money to send Bondi on trips where the lobbyists would have access to her.

Like I said, there are a lot of “thems” who are pulling the strings on our Pam.

And yet, she is clinging mightily to the proposition that she is all ours.

“No lobbyist will ever affect a decision I make regarding the citizens of the state of Florida,” she said.
So it must have been a matter of multiple coincidences that Bondi made a habit of dropping the pursuit of Dickstein Shapiro clients during their long courtship.

For example, Bondi’s predecessor had sued the online booking companies Travelocity and Priceline — both Dickstein Shapiro clients — for withholding hotel taxes to the state of Florida. But after Bondi was wined, dined, and junketed on the lobbyists’ dime, her office lost interest in pursuing those taxes, the Times reported.

That was an estimated $100 million a year of our money.

Another Dickstein Shapiro client, Bridgeport Education, a for-profit, online education company that had been sued by the Iowa attorney general for “unconscionable sales practices,” got Florida to abandon inquiries after the lobbying firm set up meetings with Bondi’s office, the Times reported.

Similarly, the Minnesota attorney general’s office got a $2.5 million settlement from Accretive Health, a Chicago debt collector, for engaging in aggressive debt collections in hospital emergency rooms.
Dickstein Shapiro lobbyists, who represented the bill collector, contacted Bondi’s office to make sure that Florida wouldn’t follow Minnesota’s lead by suing the company over its debt collection efforts in two Jacksonville hospitals, documents obtained by the Times showed.

Bondi didn’t. The lobbying firm later bragged in a marketing brochure about its success in making sure that other attorney general’s didn’t follow Minnesota’s lead in pursing its bill-collection client.

As you can see, our Pam has quite an impressive record of helping lots of “thems.”

As for us, well, not so much.

Our Pam has been deaf to our gay Floridians who want to marry, a roadblock to our 1.3 million poor Floridians who need Medicaid-provided health care, and a missing advocate for our energy rate payers, who didn’t have an attorney general to challenge electric company rates until voting started for her re-election last month.

As it turns out, our attorney general is very useful to a lot of people.

Just not us.


Anonymous said...

She's a front for special interests? Just another GOP minion. Like Curbelo.

Anonymous said...

AG's work for corporations. Until this is illegal nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

The wolves don't even bother about putting on sheep's clothing any more. They walk around as a plain old wolf. And they ask you to vote for them!

Studly Steve said...

She is VERY attractive.

Anonymous said...

Pam Biondi is terrible for Florida and terrible for the country but her name is easy to remember and she has built in name recognition. I voted for George Sheldon. I hope Sheldon wins, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Pam Blondie. xoxox

Anonymous said...

I voted also for George Sheldon.i see the only job accomplished by pam bondi was a war she waged on floridas families and floridas doctors.using scare tactics,and threats.will she be giving her family the polluted water to drink we face in florida